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9 Shopify Apps For Merchants Who Are Just Getting Started

An illustration of two people using a magnifying glass to explore Shopify apps for beginner merchants.

When you’re starting your store on Shopify, it’s hard to understand which apps you need to set up. With such a large list of apps available on the Shopify App Store, you need a little guidance to help you figure out which apps are right for you.

We wanted to help new merchants identify the Shopify apps they need during the initial days of store growth. That’s why we’ve created this list featuring 9 (free) Shopify apps that are perfect for new merchants who want to acquire new customers and grow their business.

9 Top (Free) Shopify Apps for New Merchants

1. PushOwl – Web Push Notifications

PushOwl is a web push notifications app built for Shopify. Using the app, you can capture store visitors as subscribers who you can later market to through web push notifications. These notifications are sent directly to your subscriber’s screen, making it highly visible and allowing you to engage with your shoppers instantly.

With PushOwl, you can set up opt-ins on your Shopify store to capture subscribers, send promotions about your sale and products as campaigns, and recover abandoned carts.

Here are the first 3 steps you need to take once you install PushOwl:

Your brand logo will be shown within the notifications that you send. So, before you start planning your campaigns, you need to upload your brand logo to PushOwl. Go to Settings within the PushOwl dashboard to upload your brand logo.

Step 2: Customize your overlay/custom prompt

Before you send promotions, you need to capture store visitors as subscribers. You can customize your browser prompt to include an overlay message or even set up the custom prompt to add context to why store visitors should join your subscriber list.

Step 3: Customize your welcome message

Provide a positive experience for new subscribers by setting up a welcome notification that is shown to them as soon as they subscribe. Set up your automated welcome notification to greet your new subscriber, offer or discount, or let them know what’s special about your brand.

Here’s our checklist to get started with PushOwl.

2. SMSBump – SMS Marketing

SMSBump is an SMS marketing platform for eCommerce businesses. Built for compliance, SMSBump allows you to recover carts, launch targeted campaigns, and engage in truly conversational commerce. With over 60K active users, it is the preferred text marketing app for Shopify merchants.

Getting started with SMSBump is easy.

Step 1: Grow your subscriber list 

Build your subscriber list by leveraging your social media following, placing a subscription form on your site, or even sending an invite via email to join your SMS club.

Step 2: Automate SMS campaigns

Set up SMS automations to be sent to your subscribers, based on their interactions with your store. Start by setting up welcome messages, abandoned cart reminders, and customer winback. SMSBump already gives you templates that you can either activate right away or tailor them to your brand first.

Step 3: Generate revenue with targeted campaigns. 

Send these campaigns when you have something meaningful to share with your customers – like an upcoming sale or a launch of a new collection. Make your campaign even more appealing with catchy images or GIFs, and always add a clear call to action, prompting subscribers to act on your offer.

3. SmartrMail – Email Marketing

SmartrMail is the easiest way to send emails that delight your customers and gets sales. After signing up, SmartrMail automatically generates a branded email template where you can add products complete with images and links in a single click. Along with their easy-to-use templates, you’ll be able to set up all the best practice email automations in minutes.

With SmartrMail, getting started with email marketing is as easy as 2 steps:

Step 1: Send a newsletter to subscribers

Leverage email by sending a newsletter to your subscribers in just minutes. You can choose from SmartrMail’s email templates and customize it to fit your branding.

Step 2: Set up automations

Automated emails are powerful, allowing you to communicate with your email subscribers based on the actions they take. Set up automations like upsell emails and abandoned cart messages to successfully convert shoppers, recover carts, and increase purchases.

After signing up, merchants should compose and send a newsletter to their subscribers and set up best practice automations like welcome and abandoned cart emails.

4. LoyaltyLion – Loyalty Program

LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. Unlock real insights to build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships, and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts. Proven to increase retention and spend, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth eCommerce merchants worldwide.

Here are the first 2 or 3 steps that merchants need to take once they’ve installed LoyaltyLion:

Step 1: Set up your customized loyalty program

Create a fully-customized integrated loyalty program to drive retention and set their store apart

You can plan reward activities that will help shoppers earn points like account creation, social media engagement, site visits, or writing a review to enhance engagement.

Create unique combinations of points, rewards, and tiers to increase repeat purchase and spend.

Step 2: Allow shoppers to earn rewards from referrals

Implement referrals to boost acquisition and advocacy by encouraging customers to act as advocates across all channels. Let them know about the rewards they would unlock by referring your store to others.

Step 3: Integrate with other Shopify apps to unlock more features.

Connect existing marketing tools such as ESPs, review platforms, and more to power eCommerce growth.

5. Judge.me – Reviews

Judge.me helps you collect and display ratings and reviews about your products and Shopify store. Such social proof increases your conversion rate, organic traffic, and buyer engagement by leveraging your user-generated content.

Using the app, you can collect, curate, and display product reviews. Judge.me lets you send unlimited review requests and lets you display your reviews in a customized widget. Your reviews are SEO rich snippets, ranking on Google search results easily.

Here are the first 3 steps that merchants need to take once they’ve installed Judge.me:

Step 1: Install your Review Widget and Preview Badge

Display your reviews within your product pages by enabling the review widget through Judge.me’s dashboard. Your new store visitors can view all the reviews for each product here and past customers can leave reviews as well. You can also enable the preview badge to show how many reviews have been collected and the average ratings.

Step 2: Customize your widgets

Once your review widget is set up, customize it to change the design and style of the widget. You can even enable photo and video reviews while customizing.

Step 3: Add your existing reviews to Judge.me and collect more reviews

If you’ve collected reviews before, you can migrate them to Judge.me to start showing them on your review widget.

You can refer to Judge.me’s getting started guide.

6. Tidio – Live chat

Tidio is an all-in-one communication and sales platform. It offers free live chat, chatbot, and email marketing tools for small businesses. Using Tidio, you can talk to your store visitors in real-time, track customer behavior, collect contact data, rescue abandoned carts, answer FAQ, and send automated email campaigns. All these features, for free!

Once you’ve installed Tidio, you can maximize its use by taking these 3 first steps:

Step 1: Welcome your store visitors with a chatbot

Add a free welcome chatbot from Tidio’s templates library and customize it to match your brand’s voice (message, image, offer). This allows your customers to speak to you easily.

Step 2: Collect emails via chatbot

Start collecting emails through your chatbots and/or pre-chat surveys using a live chat widget.

Step 3: Set up welcome emails to send to customers acquired via chatbot 

Connect free Tidio mailing tool and set it up to send an automated “Welcome email” to all new email subscribers.

7. Privy – On-Site Conversions

Whether you want to offer coupons, suggest products, or ask for email signups, Privy’s onsite displays will make sure you look good doing it. Privy allows you to set up on-site pop-ups that are displayed at the right time to help you successfully convert visitors. Customize in seconds, no design skills needed.

Once you’ve installed the app, there’s just one step you need to take to start converting visitors:

Step 1: Set up your pop-up for mobile and desktop

Start capturing shoppers by setting up your pop-up. This pop-up can be customized to match the color and style that the rest of your Shopify store follows.

Privy’s Getting Started Checklist is perfect if you’re keen to set up pop-ups

8. ReConvert – Thank You Page Builder

ReConvert Upsell & Cross-Sell is a post-purchase upsell tool that allows you to turn your blank Shopify thank you page into a branded, optimized page that converts customers again before they even leave the store! This is an automatic revenue and retention tool for your store.

With ReConvert, you can set up different features on your thank you page like a pop-up with timer upsell, recommendations, and an order tracking widget.

Once you’ve installed the app, you can take these 2 steps to enable ReConvert and start converting shoppers through the thank you page:

Step 1: Select the “Conversion Monster” template

Once ReConvert is set up, you can go to “free premade templates” and choose the conversion monster template.

Step 2: Name your template

Name this template to easily find it later. You can even customize this template to add your branding to it.

And you’re done! You’re now collecting sales from your thank you page.

9. SuperLemon – WhatsApp Marketing

SuperLemon is a WhatsApp marketing app for Shopify. Using the app, you can add a beautiful WhatsApp chat button to your store, automate cart recovery, and set online and offline hours. The app supports multiple phone numbers so that multiple customer support executives can assist your customers.

Here are the 2 steps you can take to enable chat through WhatsApp and leverage the channel to recover carts:

Step 1: Add your WhatsApp phone number

Once installed, add your WhatsApp phone number to connect with your customers easily.

Step 2: Set up cart recovery automation

Enable and set up cart recovery messages to start reminding shoppers about their abandoned carts.

We hope this list of 9 free Shopify apps helps you set up smart sales strategies and allows you to increase conversions during the initial months of store launch.


Special thanks to our friends at PushOwl for their insights on this topic.
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